Large numbers of bottom-hole temperatures (BHTs) and temperatures measured during drill-stem tests (DSTs) are available in areas explored for hydrocarbons, but their usefulness for estimating geothermal gradients and heat-flow density is limited. We investigated a large data set of BHT and DST measurements taken in boreholes in the American Midcontinent, a geologically uniform stable cratonic area, and propose an empirical correction for BHTs based on relationships between BHTs, DSTs, and thermal logs. This empirical correction is compared with similar approaches determined for other areas. The data were analyzed by multivariate statistics prior to the BHT correction to identify anomalous measurements and quantify external influences. Spatial patterns in temperature measurements for major stratigraphic units outline relations to regional structure. Comparision of temperature and structure trend-surface residuals reveals a relationship between temperature highs and local structure highs. The anticlines, developed by continuous but intermittent movement of basement fault blocks in the Late Paleozoic, are subtle features having closures of 10-30 m and contain relatively small hydrocarbon reservoirs. The temperature anomalies of the order of 5-7??C may reflect fluids moving upward along fractures and faults, rather than changes in thermal conductivity resulting from different pore fluids.
Additional publication details
Spatial analysis of temperature (BHT/DST) data and consequences for heat-flow determination in sedimentary basins